TBR Jar Draw – September 2020 update

I have read my last TBR Jar Draw book back in July when I was taking a break from reading challenges. The book I’ve read was:

The Crooked Sixpence (The Uncommoners #1) by Jennifer Bell ★★★

I let my friend choose a book for me and I’m happy how it turned out. I’ve been meaning to read it for a while and unhaul it by donating it to my local library. Last year I noticed they have a second book from this series but not the first. I got the book as a present and it is a bit too middle grade for my tastes. As middle grade books go it was a great read and I liked it. Before I donate it to the library my friend asked me to borrow it so she can read it too!

Seven Seasons of Buffy: Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers Discuss Their Favorite Television Show by Glenn Yeffeth and The Poison Diaries (The Poison Diaries #1) by Maryrose Wood are going back into the TBR Jar!

Three new picks I pulled from the Jar back at the end of July were:

1# Lucky (Lucky Santangelo #2) by Jackie Collins

This is the second book in an older book series from the eighties. I read the first book when I was very young and impressionable. I even made a post about it few years back as a part of the Books that changed me project and you can check it out HERE. When I stumbled on the second book by accident and at great price I decided to give it a chance. The reason I did not read it already is tied to the fact that I read the first book so very long time ago and I’m not sure how well I will be able to get into this book. Also, this book is quite a chubby one – 639 pages of chubby paperback edition! It might be a big commitment for a book I’m not sure I will like anymore and it is kinda hard to include it in reading challenges for that very reason!

2# The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly

I remember a friend of mine telling me about this book. I remember I was intrigued and I don’t remember how I got it in the end. It is a Croatian edition and I already borrowed it to some people to read before I read it and that is a sure sign I am not that interested in it. It is one of those books that drop into your life by accident. As I understand the story is a bit dark and supernatural with a very young main character. I might pick it up in some of my darker moods or try to fit it into some reading challenge.

3# Angélique, le chemin de Versailles (Angelique 2) by Anne and Serge Golon

This is a second book in another older book series. This one is created by the french duo Anne and Serge Golon. It is a historical adventure book series and I’ve only read the first book when I was in high school I think. Again I have an issue with getting into the story after such a long time. Only this time I already own the whole book series of around twelve books in translation. They are kinda slow paced book and I’m worried how I can fit them into some reading challenges and finish them. It is another chubby edition with 640 pages.

This time I am at a complete lack of direction at which book out of these three to choose to read. I might even have to consult my friend for help!

Medieval-A-Thon Reading Challenge – Experience and thoughts

In the month of May I originally wanted to relax a little after the O.W.L.s Magical Readathon in April. That all changed when I spotted this challenge. You can see my first post where I choose the books and decided to participate a whole week later – HERE.

My goal for this challenge was to become an Empress and in order to do that I had to read at least seven books in May. The story of a a great Empress started with an awesome outfit to fight dragons with so I can impress the people before I cant truly become their leader!

First book I’ve read for this challenge answered to the prompt –

Dragon on the cover!

The Dark Prophecy (The Trials of Apollo, #2) by Rick Riordan ★★★★

This was a friendly dragon and while its role in this book was not so big I truly enjoyed reading about it! Festus, whose name translates to “Happy” is an automaton bronze dragon originally created by the children of Hephastus. I will not make spoilers about what happens to Festus in this book but I will just say that my journey to become an Empress has been more amazing since I read about him! I had some trouble in starting to read this book and this reading challenge helped me with it! With this positive energy my quest to become an Empress began!

Second book I’ve read for this challenge helped me not to act like a snob and be more humble – the prompt for this book was

to read a book under 300 pages!

Incubus Dreaming (The Incubus, #2) by A. H. Lee ★★★★★

This was the best book I’ve read in May! It is the third book in a trilogy and the fact that I finished the book series was an added bonus of positive energy as well. While somebody else would probably use this prompt to take it easy I choose a book that just barely fits the requirement as it has 299 pages total by Kindle account! My goal in sight and my standards still set high I moved on to the next book.

The third book I read for this challenge allowed me to grab some weapon training

start or finish a duology

The Fates Divide (Carve the Mark, #2) by Veronica Roth ★★★

The first time I saw this challenge I knew I wanted these weapons! Training to fight with two weapons at once is as hard as reading a book that is part some of your not favorite genre. This book has been on my TBR plan for a very long time and the first book I read years ago. Sci Fi nature of this book as well as some rich cultural and original details made it harder to read but the reward of finishing another book series I was logging around for a long time was as rewarding as getting those two daggers and learning how to use them properly!

Next book brought me some companionship in the form of my favorite animal and by the prompt

A book that begins with a “C”

Carry On (Simon Snow, #1) by Rainbow Rowell ★★★★

I knew I was going to like this book and I wanted to like it! I was looking for an excuse to add this book to my reading and had several choices for it. Pairing it with a cat companion fit nicely. Cats are perfect companions for an Empress – they hint at luxury but are very resourceful and independent as well. Every household can find cat useful and these animals are fiercely loyal and territorial which are the atributes I hold very important.

Book I decided to read next added some royal wardrobe I could really shine in and the prompt was

A shiny book

The Testament of Loki (Loki #2) by Joanne M. Harris ★★

This shiny book was another one from my bookshelf that was weighing on me to finish a book series. As it turned out I was more of a fighter than a parading ruler or a dancer at a ball. The book did not blew me away – it was just OK. A shiny book and a shiny outfit were just OK but did not speak to me the way some other books or outfits did.

An Empress in the making that did not enjoy her shiny dresses has turned again to more unladylike ventures by acquiring her own horse to travel her kingdom and the reading prompt for this one was

A tall hardcover

Percy Jackson’s Greek Heroes by Rick Riordan, John Rocco ★★★★

I was a bit miffed by the prompt so I decided to get the biggest hardcover book I had on my bookshelves other than an encyclopedia. At first I was very happy with my choice. But as it turns out with serious rulers and kingdoms some things are not as easy as they look! This book proved very hard to read since it was too heavy to hold for longer periods of time and its bulkiness proved a problem. Traveling a kingdom did not prove to be an easy picnic either.

This next book proves that friends can be found in the unlikliest of places as I befriended a goat! The prompt for this one was

A book high on my bookshelf

Death of a Darklord (Ravenloft #13) by Laurell K. Hamilton ★★★

This prompt was a bit confusing for me at first. I reached out to the top of my bookshelf and found one book on it that I did not read while all the rest I have at least partially read! The prompt was perfect and I was actually wondering if this could be maybe a scary book prompt as well. Befriending a goat was as interesting experience as reading this book – not exactly good or bad, just a little different!

With all my seven books read I have reached a status of an Empress with three different outfits: one a plate of armor for battle, one casual suit for adventuring and mingling with normal people and one shiny severe dress for formal functions! I got a perfect cat companion that compliments my personality and learned to ride a horse while trained to fight with two weapons to a satisfactory degree. And last but not least I have befriended a goat on my travels through the kingdom. With the bonus of three more books I have read in May I managed to befriend a Knight to accompany me on my journey of being a good Empress! In the last five days of the challenge I read more than 700 pages which was enough to repel any outside forces that wanted to mess with my empire!

May your own stories be as interesting as was mine and I hope to participate in this challenge next year as well!

Longest book series – Anita Blake Vampire Hunter


The first book I’ve read by Laurell K. Hamilton is not part of the Anita Blake Vampire Hunter series actually. The Anita Blake Vampire Hunter book series (from now on ABVH) was something a friend mentioned. Since I liked the other series  – Merry Gentry, I went all out and got myself a box set with first four books of ABVH. The box set design was in the form of a small coffin (?) all black and with the top kinda sticking out of any bookshelf. I was in college back then and it was the middle of exam season. I went on a small reading spree -four books in four days! before I started my exam studying. Needless to say I was hooked!

box set

The ABVH book series is a long standing one and is still going strong. It has 26 books up to date and the author is actively writing new ones each year. The first book Guilty Pleasures came out way back in 1993. which makes this book series old enough to drink in the US and is older than the age of the main character in the first book (Anita is 24 years old in the first book).

I vaguely remember running trough those books back then. I would read them at a book a day pace as soon as I got them. I’m not a fan of horror setting much but there was something about the main character that inspired confidence despite her many dark adventures. The world and the creatures in it appealed to me.


So when the adventures started to go further south and into supernatural relationship polyamourous exploring I did not mind that much. They were still the characters I liked reading about and I wanted to know more about them. By then the reactions of some readers were far from positive. Many were annoyed with how little the story progressed and how the main character was acting and developing. The sex scenes were handled badly in some books due to how explicit they are. Not many readers like to read books this erotic and even less readers can make a transition from so much smut and sex with big doses of supernatural creatures and all sorts of perverse topics and then switch to coherent mundane stories. At times even the author had trouble getting it done.

graphic novels

As the books of the series pilled up so did the many ideas to new merchandise and promotion. From never happening TV show deals to more creative and doable graphic novel editions by none other than Marvel Comics! These things often happen with long lasting book series. The graphic novel editions came out for the first three books and brought a new story of how Anita met Edward called Vampire Hunter: The First Death which was one of the fans favorite things to wonder about.

gn covers

I have mixed feelings about the graphic novel editions since they changed the original artist from the first two editions and it makes the character sometimes look like they come form the old Egyptian wall murals with their eyes looking weird and plastic in general.


But I digress from the books…

There are many fans of the books who could not handle how this book series evolved into something completely different than it was back in the nineties when it first came out. The author used her books to speak about issues she holds important personally – relationship dynamics – and many readers don’t find it that interesting. Many more are offended by the sex scenes. And truth be told there are some books of the series that are just a few sex scenes put together and some relationship talk in between. For people who wanted more detective horror action from the first nine books way back these things seem off-putting and waste of time.


I’ve thought often on what holds me to this series for the sum of my adult life. I would always go back to the characters and creatures I enjoy reading about. Twenty six books in I am holding the pages and wondering all about the new strange creatures this books is bringing out. I still feel intrigued by the story and keep reading. I even think about rereading some of the books again just to make sure I understand the characters and how they were first imagined. Twenty six years is a lot of time for a book series to go on and there aren’t many out there this long. Only one’s that come close I can think of are manga book series that surpass it by the number of volumes but not even close to the number of years they can last.

rptThe bad marketing puns like: The corpse laughs…but only after it kills! did not help…

I’ve made posts before on this book series and I will probably do them again sometime in the future. If you’re interested here is the Book covers around the world post I’ve made with some weird and interesting covers of the series. All things considered I’m actually happy with how the cover art style stood the test of time and managed to keep it somewhat composed in art and book design style.

I’m still wishing for the special omnibus editions that came out in limited quantity with covers made by Luis Royo over twenty years ago which I posted about in my Wishlist presentation exactly five years ago! There is one other book series by the same author I own and it’s Merry Gentry book series. I like collecting the short story compilations as well and I hope that some of the short stories that only came out in digital form will be someday available as a collection as well.


I’ve decided almost a decade ago that I’m all in with this book series. I want to see it trough. A sort of relationship I’ve committed myself to for better and for worse. As long as the author keeps writing I will be reading. After two decades here’s to two decades more!

Silence Fallen – Book Review


Finished reading

Silence Fallen

(Mercy Thompson #10)

by Patricia Briggs



This is actually the last book I’ve bought this year. It somehow slipped my radar for I’m not really sure how long did I have it on the shelf. On my TBR Jar Draw among my choices for April was also a Joker option – pick any unread book from my shelf and read it! I was actually surprised to see this book on the shelf and a while has passed since I read any books from Mercy Thompson universe (counting both Mercy Thompson AND Alpha & Omega series). I loved reading Patricia Briggs books and remembered how much I enjoyed them. I gladly picked up Silence Fallen to read!



Once I started reading this book I got so immersed into the story, the characters and the urban fantasy setting. Imagine my surprise when some of the characters did not exactly ring a bell…

It took me one hundred and fifty pages to look up my Goodreads and check when was the last time I’ve read one of the books from Mercy Thompson series…

I was reading the wrong book!


I realized I have not read one other book in the series Fire Touched which is number nine in the series and is directly before Silence Fallen. And at this point I was completely hooked in with the action packed plot and I was beside myself with suspense!

So I got to put Silence Fallen down for a while and got down to read Fire Touched. Now when all the characters were completely familiar and I started to piece things together I was in for the ride on Fire Touched!

fire touched_front mech.indd

Finished reading

Fire Touched

(Mercy Thompson #9)

by Patricia Briggs



When I started reading this book I was a bit crazed and jumpy because of the mistake I made picking a book from the series out of order. It might not seem such a big deal but again I was glad for my TBR Jar Draw ongoing project that makes me read more books from my own bookshelves. I got a bit of spoiler from Silence Fallen on some characters and I must admit that I was not hyped about reading this book as much I was for reading the next one.



Again I was surprised to read about Mercy and Adam relationship. Out of all the fictional couples Mercy and Adam are by far most fantastic in a way they have a relationship so well balanced and great it belongs with out of this world supernatural elements of the book series. They are inspiring to read about!

It was good to see the dynamics of the pack and family life at work trough out the book. Some of the issues Mercy had to deal with in this book were much more close to me and I was impressed on how the author dealt with those issues.

What I loved about this book was the update on the Fey politics and meeting up with some new and some old favorites. I can’t say much more and keep this review spoiler free but I can throw few hidden hints here and there.



In the end I loved this book so much and was happy to have another waiting on me to continue reading the book series. It left a feel good impact on me when I finished reading which was one of my favorite things about reading book series. Not to mention the excitement I get finishing a book and getting into another one at fast pace!

Summary – continuation from Silence Fallen

Jumping from the ending of the Fire Touched back into the fray of Silence Fallen gave me a rush! From an ending of one book to the middle of action of another book. I loved Mercy travelling trough Europe. Prague adventures were awesome to read about. I loved how the book series progresses we learn more about different new creatures and how things work and get an update on some of the older characters and past events.



This one kept me up long into the morning!  I loved it for its action and intelligent humor. This wild ride trough two books had me looking up for the next one. So now I’m impatiently waiting on an opportunity to buy the next one. Hopefully it wont take me so long to get to reading it that I forget how much I enjoy these characters and stories! Absolutely a favorite!

Dr. Who references were much appreciated ❤


Books that changed me – A Fistful of Charms


I consider reading to be a personal experience. There is a quote by Edmund Wilson  “No two persons ever read the same book.” And I believe it to be truth in more ways than one. Some books were there for me when I needed something to hold on to.

A Fistful of Charms is one of those books.


“If you do it once, it’s a mistake. If you do it twice, it’s not a mistake anymore.”
― Kim Harrison, A Fistful of Charms

I’ve been in the middle of reading A Fistful of Charms when I was going trough a rough period of my life. This book was a lifesaver when I couldn’t do anything else but read the words on pages. Sometimes I remember only the pages and my slow progress. The main character has her ex boyfriend make an appearance in a bad way. And that kinda worked for me.

“There is black. There is white. Gray is a cowardly excuse to mix our wants with our needs.”
― Kim Harrison, A Fistful of Charms

This is a fourth book in The Hollows series by Kim Harrison. I has a kickass heroine and lots of action. This book series is completed and it has thirteen books altogether. I’m slowly buying them and reading them. I’ve read up to book eleven and have all but the last book. This book meant a lot to me. After reading it trough it took me a long time to move on to the next book in the series since the memories that went with it were not the good kind.

“Shades of gray, I thought, knowing I was slipping into places I had vowed I’d never go.”
― Kim Harrison, A Fistful of Charms

I’m glad I found a courage to keep reading. I’m constantly amazed at how good these books are. This book series has me emotionally involved on so many levels. Reading about characters who keep getting back up and keep kicking back is inspirational.


Foundation – Book Review


Finished reading:

Foundation (Foundation book 1)

by Isaac Asimov



This book is part of a reading challenge I was given by my boyfriend this year. Each year we challenge each other to read books one of us likes and the other one has never read before. We clash a lot since we generally don’t like same genres and themes. You can see what we chose for this year challenge HERE.  This being said I did not expect much of this book. I picked it up to get something done on my list of reading challenges.



This book is a perfect example of speculative fiction at its finest. After I read it I had to do a bit research on it as well. First time it was published as a set of stories in a magazine from 1942 to 1950. These stories were latter published and edited as a first three books of the Foundation series. This series was in 1966. given the Hugo Award for a “Best All-Time Series”. Never before or after has any book series won this award! One of the runner ups for this award was Lord of the Rings trilogy. All other books in the series were written and added much latter in the 1980-ties.

1966This is what the design for Hugo in 1966. looked like. Each year design changes but it is always a rocket ship.

At first I was amazed at how much I actually enjoyed the story. The premise of mathematical calculation used as a way of predicting future thousands of years in advance was much more engaging read than I expected it to be.


The concept of Hari Seldon’s Crises was startlingly thought provoking. It is very comforting to think that a crisis of social and political situation would eventually leave only one possible, inevitable, course of action. In the today world of palpable panic and stress provoking environment added by media this is a calming way of thinking indeed.


Taking into consideration the time these stories were written I enjoyed them more for it. I could not help but have a critical approach and some might call it splitting hairs but I must mention some things that made me stop with four stars rating instead of five.

I couldn’t help but notice that even in the thousands of years distant future one of the most popular things would be smoking cigars and enjoying fine tobacco. As the time passes in the book; characters that were decades and more apart kept indulging in smoking some kind of cigars.



For now I will not be reading other books in the Foundation series. I will be happy and pleased with this one I’ve read and satisfied with how much I liked it. I have new found appreciation for reading classics of the SF genre from now on. And if the talks of HBO series based on the books is true I might even give it a try!


Books that changed me – Chances

One of the books that changed me was a Jackie Collins novel Chances. In Croatian translation the title is “Jače od grijeha”. This loosely translates to “Stronger/Harder than sin”. This is a soap opera chick lit book with some steamy sex on the side.


But first let me tell you that there is a long story about this book. I must mention that I was in high school and I got this book from a friend who supposedly stole it from the library. Together with my two friends I passed this book and hid it as boys would treat their porn stash. We used to read the more juicy bits out loud. This was our porn book!


I must warn you all that this was before the age of Internet in the country that just got out of being in war.

All that being said this book is not your average teenager delinquent reading material (if there is such a thing). It was a hardcover chubby with 781 pages.



It looked like this but our copy was much more frayed from the constant reading and it was missing it’s spine cover. You could see the binding and the way pages were sewn together. It is only while I was searching for the pictures of this edition did I see that it used to come with a jacket. A weird one at that!


Now that you are all properly interested and confused let me tell you a bit on the story or at least the way we saw it.


It is one of those soap opera material stories with all the elements that make it last for hundreds of episodes and make the general population love and hate it’s characters with equal fervor.

This saga about Santangelo family starts with a main character Gino. Later on the books introduce his daughter- badass character Lucky. The rest of the books in this series I did not read.

Some browsing trough the Goodreads reviews proved that most readers get to this book in their high school years and treat it  the same way we did – as contraband!

Whatever the case may be this book still holds a record for me as a book with 781 pages I read trough in three days! I even took her to the bathroom with me and barely slept!

So whats your twisted bookish blast from the past?

Women who run with the wolves – Book Review


Finished reading:

Women Who Run with the Wolves

Myths & Stories of the Wild Woman Archetype

by Clarissa Pinkola Estes


This book was a book club assignment. I don’t think I would have ever took it on my own. For starters it is psychoanalytical non fiction. As an added bonus it is 500+ pages long. I honestly did not know what to expect and I have heard many good reviews from the people who read it.



The author is an American poet, psychoanalyst and post-trauma specialist. She is also a storyteller. This book is filled with archetype stories on lives of women. There is something in it that will make any woman respond to the stories. Some of the things the author brings to light here come to every woman naturally and some other things make you work hard to control.


This book caught me by surprise. Most of the women in my book club group agreed that we all overestimated ourselves in the time we thought would take to read this book. As it turned out this book is quite intense and requires the reader to take time and think about life. This book is not to be taken lightly. At times, reading this book is like a slap in the face. I cried…I cried a lot…

“Sometimes the one who is running from the Life/Death/Life nature insists on thinking of love as a boon only. Yet love in its fullest form is a series of deaths and rebirths. We let go of one phase, one aspect of love, and enter another. Passion dies and is brought back. Pain is chased away and surfaces another time. To love means to embrace and at the same time to withstand many endings, and many many beginnings- all in the same relationship.”

I liked this book a lot. Things I liked the most were archetype stories from different cultures. Most of them began as legends and folk tales. And I love those kind of stories!



I am glad to have read and learned from this book!


I totally understand why most women who read this book tend to pass it on to other women as a recommendation or even as a book gift. While reading I thought of several women in my life who would benefit from reading this book.  With all that in mind I must conclude that this book was hard for me. I see this book as a Rorschach test – the things you are ready to face about yourself will stare back at you from the pages. This book stared at me a lot…


Books that changed me – Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge

One of the books that changed me is a manga with an English title The Wallflower by author Tomoko Hayakawa. Japanese title is Yamato Nadeshiko Shichi Henge which roughly translates as “Perfect Girl Evolution”.

This manga also has an anime version and drama series version.


This manga was something I shared with my childhood friend. We were two girls who would rather stay indoors and play video games than go out. Playstation and the two of us at her place. We used to spend summers this way.


I used to buy this manga and she liked it. Soon we were reading it together and buying it together. We shared it by having half of the series at her house and at my house.

19091_28019 (1)

The story and the little drawings through out the manga we enjoyed together. Something about the emo main character and all the pathos made us feel lees awkward in our teenage years.



As things do in life some things happened. I was going trough a rough period where my life teared apart. I was counting on her support. She was to busy to be there for me. I never could forgive her that. For months while my life reached the bottom her absence wounded me. It went on that way until I snapped and made a scene. I don’t think it as an excuse for all the bad stuff I did to myself while I used some horrible words on her birthday. The real truth is that for the most part I was under the influence and can’t remember exactly what happened.



She naturally got offended and all I could hear at the time was the pain echoing inside me. The hurt that she couldn’t see that I needed her and she let me down. After a while I used ignoring her in public as a way to hurt myself.


Few years back she approached me in public. But I was not ready to make peace. Seeing her reminded me how badly hurt I was. She used to be a big part of my life. And she got swept away in my life storm. I am still recovering from how self-destructive I was.tumblr_lyetm9h4Vu1rn3s3zo1_500I has been almost a decade since I lost my friend. As a sad reminder I have half of the manga series on my shelf. Volumes 11. to 17. She got the first ten. I used to move them to the back of my closet so that I don’t have to look at a reminder of a friend I lost. I still have them in the back row of one of my bookshelves. Just slightly out of sight so that I don’t have to think about how I miss my friend.


Books that changed me – Dei Bambini Non si sa Niente

Books that changed me:

Title: Dei bambini non si sa niente

(English title: What We Don’t Know about Children)

Author: Simona Vinci

bambini     what we dont know o djeci

This is a book I read years ago as a very young person. I read it in Croatian translation under the title: O djeci ne znamo ništa.

This is not a book for people who get scared easily.

Main focus of the book are group of children age 10 to 15 who left to themselves for the summer begin to explore their sexuality.

This is a story about coming of age and social need to be a part of a group. We read the story from POV of a ten year old girl named Martina.

I found this book to be horribly fascinating.

While I was reading it I was assaulted by many disturbing images but at the same time I was driven by curiosity to read on in a similar manner as the protagonists in the book.

Sexual curiosity is a natural thing.

Java Printing

The good, the bad, the joy and the pain, even horror and disgust are very much real.

What started out as a summer break children past time story turned into a morbid and tragic tale of when things go wrong.

Things went wrong when children who were turning into young people tried to imitate their elders sexual desires.

Eroticism is tainted by the desires of adults that leave the children as victims of their own confusion and powerless.

Children may not always listen to what their elders say but they watch and see what we are not telling them.


What I learned from reading this book is that sometimes we cannot leave things to chance and keep quite about certain truths that we are all part of. Childhood is a time that needs to be kept safe and preserved for every child so it can safely make a transition to a healthy adult individual. Keeping quiet is not keeping safe.

This is a hard book with a heavy theme.

“…brave exploration of eroticism and a harsh indictment of a society whose dark, disturbing aspects leave that most fragile, vulnerable blessing–childhood–forever at risk.”